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Plyometric and

Speed Training:
Part A
Explosion and Power

Introduction

In terms of performanceathletes are


always looking for advantages to put them
over the top
Use of plyometrics and speed training has
been used to develop that advantage for
most sports involving explosive and powerful
movements
Plyometrics and speed training have become
important in increasing ability of athletes to
better control deceleration forces, which can
contribute to athletic injury

Introduction

Plyometric Exercise: quick, powerful


movements preceded by a pre-stretch or
counter-movement followed by an immediate
powerful concentric muscle action
Speed: the ability to achieve a high velocity
The purpose of the plyometric and speed
training is to elicit the SSC to achieve
increased power in important athletic
movements
Speed training essential works to do the same
thing, but also adds in technique and
muscular strength to produce larger ground
forces, which allows clients to run faster

Plyometric Mechanics and


Physiology

Power: term used to describe the


force-velocity relationship
When done correctlyplyometric
exercise can effectively improve
muscle force and power
Increased power production can be
explained in two ways:

Mechanical and Neurological

Plyometric Mechanics and


Physiology

Mechanical Model of Plyometric Exercise

Elastic energy is stored following a rapid stretch


and then released during the concentric muscle
actionthis then increase muscle force production
Series Elastic Component (SEC) is a major
contributor to force productionit includes some
muscle, but it mainly tendon
When the musculotendinous unit is stretched
during eccentric muscle actionthe SEC acts like
a coiled spring to store elastic energy
Once and if immediate concentric action happens
the stored energy will be released to create
increased force production
If there is no immediate concentric action then the
energy is wasted and lost as heat

Plyometric Mechanics and


Physiology

Neuro-physiological Model of Plyometric


Exercise

This element involves a change in the force-velocity


characteristics of a muscle contractile elements
Concentric muscle action is enhanced through the
stretch reflex mechanism

This is an involuntary response by muscles


Muscle spindles involved are sensitive to time and rate of
stretch
Muscle spindles detect stretch and cause increased muscle
activity
Just like the mechanical model, if not used immediately then
the increased muscle activity dissipates and the muscle
relaxes due to Golgi tendon organs kicking in (this is ideal for
stretching!)

Plyometric Mechanics and


Physiology

Stretch Shortening Cycle

Simply put:

Eccentric phase(deceleration phase)

Amortization phase

Muscle put on a stretch, preloading the agonist muscle group


Stores elastic energy for use in the concentric phase
Time between eccentric and concentric phases (end of
eccentric to beginning of concentric phase)
Phase must be kept in short duration for positive effects on
force production to take place (stored energy lost as heat if
not immediately used)

Concentric phase

Muscle group action occurs causing release of stored elastic


energy from SEC
Increased muscle force production
Not effective if amortization phase is held too long (energy
lost as heat)

When to Use Plyometric


Exercise

Plyometric Training and Sport Performance


Increased muscular power is an important and
necessary characteristics of most athletes and
relates to positive performance results
Ideal for trying to improve muscle force
production
Prepares athletes for deceleration-acceleration
and change in direction requirements for
athletic tasks
Running economy improved as well in averagedistance runners

When to Use Plyometric


Exercise

Plyometric Training and Work


Performance

There is some evidence that plyometric


training can be important for work
performance
Police officers
Firefighters
Individuals preparing for the military

All these professions must be able to run quickly,


change direction effectively, and jump onto or over
objects to perform their occupational duties

When to Use Plyometric


Exercise

Plyometric Exercise and Injury Prevention

Studies have shown that athletic injury rate is


decreased following use of plyometric training
programs
Improves bone mineral content, muscle
recruitment, strength, body control, and balance
However, it has been difficult to generalize these
results to other populations
Eccentric training may be a compromise for clients
who wish to engage in injury prevention activities
but for whom plyometric training is not
appropriate.

When to Use Plyometric


Exercise

Contraindicated Populations

Age

Plyometrics are safe and beneficial for youth, as soon as a


client is mature enough to accept and follow directions.
Be mindful of high-intensity lower body plyometrics due to the
epiphyseal plates of prepubescent children still being open
Plyometrics are appropriate for adolscents
Use low-intensity drills if all safety conditions have been
met
Older clients should avoid high-intensity plyometrics, but low
to moderate plyometrics can be continued on an individual
basis
Physical maturity is not the sole determinant of plyometric
predaredness.

When to Use Plyometric


Exercise

Experience and Training Level


Clients who have never participated in
regular resistance training programs
should be prohibited from participating
in plyometric exercises
Plyometric programs require a
significant amount of strength and
neurological functioning so encourage
starting a regular resistance training
program first

Posture, Flexibility, and


Stability

A solid base of support is necessary for the


traditional and non-traditional movement patterns
used in plyometric training.
The partial or half-squat position is:
Chin tucked in slightly
The scapulae are slightly retracted
The trunk is parallel to the tibias
Knees are directly over or slightly posterior to
the toes, and heels should remain on the ground.
Once the client can hold the position above
progress to the bodyweight squat

Posture, Flexibility,
Stability

Once the client can hold a proper


double-leg squat position and
perform a proper body weight squat,
they may begin low-intensity
plyometric exercises.

They must learn to maintain the proper


alignment, providing a strong base for
dynamic action.

Posture, Flexibility, and


Stability

Before increasing the level of plyometric


exercises, the client should be able to hold a
single-leg squat position as described for the
balance tests shown in table 17.2, pg. 417

Each test position must be held for 30 seconds

Strength

Before adding plyometrics to a clients


workout program, the personal trainer
must also take the clients level of
strength into consideration.

For lower body plyometrics, the clients 1RM squat should be


at least 1.5 times his or her body weight
For upper body plyometrics, clients weighing more than 220
pounds should have a bench press 1RM of at least 1.0 times
their bodyweight; those under 220 pounds should have a
bench press 1RM of at least 1.5 times their bodyweight
An alternative measure of prerequisite upper body strength
is the ability to perform five clap push-ups in a row

Medical History and


Physical Characteristics

Medical clearance is prudent for any


client with a diagnosed condition.
Physical characteristics

Clients who weigh above 220 pounds are


at increased risk and should avoid high
volume plyometrics
No depth jumps greater than 18 inches tall
Plyometric exercises should be limited to those
involving double-leg take offs and progress to
single-leg when proficient with double-leg.

Speed

For lower body plyometrics the client should be


able to perform five repetitions of a squat with
60% of body weight in 5 seconds or less
For upper body plyometrics the client should be
able to perform five repetitions of the bench
press with 60% bodyweight in 5 seconds or less
If the client lacks the necessary speed they may
begin a low-intensity plyometric program that
does not rely heavily on speed

Two-foot ankle hop, standing long jump, double leg


vertical jump

Landing Position

Shoulders over the knees, knees should


be slightly over or slightly posterior to
the toes, with the ankles, knees, and hips
flexed and the feet approximately
shoulder-width apart.
Weight should be placed more on the ball
of the foot and not the heel to facilitate
quick turn around on landings and
enhance control of the center of gravity

Equipment and Facilities

Landing surface

Training Area

Adequate shock absorption (grass field, turf, suspended


floor, rubber mats)
Hardwood, concrete, and tile are not recommended as
they are not sufficiently shock absorbent
Bounding and running require 33 yards of straightaway,
and up to 109 yards
Most standing, box, and depth jumps require an area of 9.8
to 13.2 feet, but adequate height is necessary

Equipment

Boxes should have a non-slip top, be closed on all sides

Height can range from 6 to 42 inches with a landing surface of at


least 18 by 24 inches

Plyometric Program
Design

Needs Analysis: Evaluate the clients current


abilities before plyometric exercises begin

Age: does age predispose client to injury and therefore


preclude them
Training experience or current level of training : has
client been resistance training? What types of exercises
has client been performing? Plyometrics before?
Injury history: currently injured? Have any previous
injuries that would affect plyometric training status?
Physical testing: what are clients capabilities in relation
to power production
Training goals: what does client want to improve?
Particular skills
Incidence of injury in a clients job or chosen activity :
what is risk of injury in chosen activity?

Plyometric Program
Design

Mode

Which kinds of plyometric exercises are


appropriate based on client goals and specific
sporting involvement
Lower Body

Appropriate for clients in almost any sport


Requires participants to produce maximal force in a
minimal amount of time
Clients in sports like basketball would benefit greatly
from lower body plyos due to repetitive jumping
involved in the sport
Types of lower body plyosdepth jumps, standing
jumps, bounds, box drills, etc.

Plyometric Program
Design

Upper Body Plyometrics


Rapid upper body movements are
required in a variety of sport such as
golf, baseball, football and tennis
Not used as often, but are very effective
nevertheless
Examples includemed ball throws,
catches, and push up variations

Plyometric Program
Design

Intensity
Refers to the amount of stress placed on the
muscles, connective tissues and joints and is
controlled by the type of drill performed and
distance covered
Intensity ranges from low-level to high-level
Intensity should be kept low for beginners
Efforts should be geared towards technique
rather than volume to help prevent injury

Plyometric Program
Design

Intensity
Better to underestimate than
overestimate
Youth and adolescents should begin
with one or two sets of 6-8 repetitions
to ensure quality reps each set

Plyometric Program
Design

Frequency
Number of plyometric training sessions per
week
Depends upon clients goals
Optimal frequency is limited in terms of
research
Two times per week for moderate intensity
plyometrics is best
For youth: Two non-consecutive days per
week is recommended

Plyometric Program
Design

Recovery

Amount of time or rest between plyometric


exercises
Depends upon work to rest ratio (range of 1:5 to
1:10) and is specific to volume and type of drill
being performed
Higher intensity of a drill, the more rest a client
requires
Rest times of 60-120 seconds between drills should
allow for full or near full recovery
48 to 72 hours between plyometric sessions is
recommended

Plyometric Program
Design

Volume
Typically expressed as number of
repetitions and sets performed during a
training session
Lower body plyos expressed as number of
foot contacts (e.g. bounding contacts)
Upper body usually expressed as number
of throws or catches
Refer to Table 17.6 (pg. 425) for volume
guidelines by age and experience level

Plyometric Program
Design

Progression

Plyometrics is a form of resistance


training so it must adhere to principles
of progression such as overload and
F.I.T.T
As intensity increases, volume decreases
Landing first

Horizontal or vertical components


Double leg before single leg

Plyometric Program
Design

Warm Up
Plyometric exercise should begin with
general and specific warm ups
General may consist of light jogging or
stationary bike, etc.
Specific would be dynamic movements
similar to those in plyometric training
See Table 17.7 (pg. 426) for examples of
plyometric warm up drills

Safety Considerations

Maturity
Caution with children under 14 yrs old
and older than 60 yrs old
Clients must also respond positive
psychologically to specific instructions

Safety Considerations

Clients must be closely monitored to


ensure proper technique
Plyometric exercise once again is
not inherently dangerous, but
supervision helps reduce injury
prevention